o2 English iPhone in America

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by knight42, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. knight42 macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2008
    Hey all

    I have a English o2 3g iphone and am off to the states for a month or so in the summer and I have a few questions if anyone can help.

    I guess I have two options, use my o2 SIM or buy an ATT one.

    My question is, has anyone tried this? Am not to worried about phone calls-ill be using Skype over WIFI for that, but am more concerned with data, email and MOSTLY Google maps (I may get lost!)

    Does anyone know the best/cheapest way to proceed? Any help greatly appreciated.
  2. OriginalFormula macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2009
    You'd have to unlock your iPhone (jailbreak+yellowsnow) to use the ATT SIM. Whether you want to do that is up to you. However, it would be the cheaper option of the two.
  3. Bingbonghoho macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2008
  4. bcburrows macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2009

    You would need to unlock as well as jailbreak, jailbreak alone will not let you put a foreign sim card in your iphone.

    If you have updated to the latest firmware you could not unlock it with yell0wsn0w

    Another option would be to sell your iphone and buy a new one in the states where i believe you can buy an official sim unlocked version!
  5. hNicolas macrumors 6502


    Dec 4, 2008
    Ottawa, ON
    Have you asked O2 how much they would charge you for 1 month foreign roaming service?
  6. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Mar 18, 2006
    At last - a sensible answer :)

    I've just had a quick look at the O2 site and there's plenty of info regarding travelling abroad - there's even a number to ring to get specific info!
  7. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    May 16, 2006
    Nope - all iPhones sold in the States are simlocked to AT&T.

    There is a limited "no commitment" offer available to certain customers. But that only means that the iPhone's sale isn't tied to an automatic mandatory 2-year contract; the phones themselves will still only work with an AT&T account.

    Your O2 iPhone will not work with an AT&T SIM card. If it has the latest firmware, there is currently no software available which will remove the SIM lock. Your easiest option would be to look into O2's pricing for international roaming packages.
  8. Carniphage macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2006
    Sheffield, England
    Don't do it.

    The roaming charges from O2 are very high.
    The roaming DATA charges are massive.
    I used my O2 iPhone in the states for a 4 day trip.
    I used it sparingly - a little email. No maps. No images. But according to my statement I had used megabytes per day.

    The O2 bill was £125!

    If you must use your iPhone - keep data roaming turned-off - and use WiFi only.

    If you want to switch sims you'll have to unlock your phone.

    The cheapest solution is to buy a handset and prepay sim. And use your iPhone as an iPod for the trip.


    I wish networks would offer a phone passport. A single one-off fee which then makes your phone cost the same as a local phone for the duration of the trip.
  9. jonnyb macrumors 65816

    Jan 21, 2005
    Rye/London, UK
    I visited NYC in March and called O2 before I left. They said they had two packages available - £20 for 20MB and £50 for 50MB.

    I went for 20MB, making sure that I used it very sparingly but it simply wasn't enough. One day of using Google maps was nearly enough to use 10MB.

    When I got home I found out that the guy I'd spoken to had got it wrong and that it was £20 for 10MB which, frankly, isn't even worth bothering with. They refunded me the extra costs I had incurred because they had misinformed me.

    In short, try to find some wi-fi.

    I think it's really disappointing that the iPhone isn't truly a global device. Why aren't the networks working together so that I can actually use the features in my iPhone to their full extent? I'd be more than willing to buy an iPhone-specific pay-as-you-go AT&T SIM for use in the States as long as it wasn't a rip-off.
  10. ayale99 macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2007
    Uhhh? Jailbreak? Why go through all the trouble?

    I'm on AT&T here in Indiana. I took a trip to Ireland last year and also wanted to use my phone there. All I had to do was call AT&T to put me on the International plan. When I got to Ireland, my phone said Vodaphone instead of AT&T in the top left corner. Ya, it cost a little extra, but well worth it.

    I'm sure you can call o2 and get on their international plan. A lot easier than jailbreaking. I would assume that all international carriers have deals with each other that would allow you to travel with your phone.
  11. jonnyb macrumors 65816

    Jan 21, 2005
    Rye/London, UK
    Sure, the networks have deals with each other for voice calling and the like. They've done this for years. It's the data roaming that's a complete rip-off.

    Until the networks make it more reasonable to use data in other countries the iPhone is crippled as a globally useful device.
  12. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    Just purchase a Data Abroad Bolt On before you go.

    It's £19.58 per month for 10MB of data and £48.95 per month for 50MB of data.
  13. bytethese macrumors 68030


    Jun 20, 2007
    I'd recommend this. When I traveled to Ireland last year for a week, I added an international data roam plan for $25/month. Here in the US, AT&T was able to flag the date for cancellation so that I got billed no more than 1 month. Even though I was only there for a week, it was WAY cost effective as I really only needed Google maps data for driving cross country. :)

    Hopefully O2 has a similar thing in their system that will only bill you for that bolt-on for 1 month.
  14. jonnyb macrumors 65816

    Jan 21, 2005
    Rye/London, UK
    Which is what I bought for my trip. The 10MB of data is beyond useless, though. I racked up nearly 10MB just using Google Maps wandering around Lower Manhattan and Greenwich village in a morning.

    Just ridiculous.

    Can you imagine being charged that at home for your Broadband? If the future of the internet is mobile then they really need to address the cost. Otherwise, it's laughable.
  15. jonnyb macrumors 65816

    Jan 21, 2005
    Rye/London, UK
    Nope.You have to remember to cancel it when you get home otherwise they charge you every month.
  16. iNash macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2009
    Hanslope, UK
    Where abouts are you going in America?

    It's not that difficult to work out places (especially Manhattan).

    Me and the Mrs went for a week at the end of Feb and although I had my iPhone I only used it for Twitter/Facebook and a few emails. I never used Maps as everything is very easliy laid out to find once you pick up on of the paper maps (usually free from most of the hotels).

    To compare it to somewhere in the UK it was very similar to Milton Keynes (England) and Cumbernald (Scotland)
  17. jonnyb macrumors 65816

    Jan 21, 2005
    Rye/London, UK
    It was my third visit to NYC. It wasn't that I found it difficult finding my way about, it was that I wanted to use the iPhone just as a useful navigational aid to find places I hadn't been to before.

    Look up the place of interest on google or wikipedia (or indeed the Maps app) and go straight to it using the Phone. Well, that was the idea, anyway...

    And incidentally, Lower Manhattan's streets were around before they decided on a grid system so it's potentially as confusing as London in some places!

    edit: just realised you were addressing the OP, not me!
  18. synagence macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    Its amazing how quick you would burn through 50mb on the iphone ... might not be cost effective...

    My advise would be to call o2 ... tell them you're leaving the country for an extended time and that you would like to use your phone abroad ... they might charge you a fee but they *might* unlock it...

    Technically if you're at the end of a contract you can request an unlock ... i know the iPhone is somewhat of a unique case but in theory they should still do so ... so you might be able to buy off partially your contract and get an unlock

    Worth playing it... be honest, be polite and you'll be surprised at the response sometimes

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